Yuletastic Crimbletide greetings Crimeziners. Here at Crimezine HQ on the world famous Mulholland Drive, we often find there is no better way to kick off the Christmas holidays than with a good old-fashioned hostage situation.
We therefore invite you to don your soiled wife-beater singlet and join us at Klaxon Oil’s Christmas Party at the very top of their 40 story HQ in snowbound, reindeer-infested Los Angeles California, for a meeting with retired fighter pilot and NYPD Detective Jo Leland—or John McLane/Bruce Willis, as you might more readily know him.
Die Hard the movie, is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by pulp novelist Roderick Thorp. It is the sexy sequel to Thorp’s earlier bestselling novel The Detective. Rat Pack aficionados will no doubt be aware that Sam Giancana associate and some time cabaret singer Frank Sinatra starred in a lukewarm movie of the same name. What you may not know is that 20th Century Fox were contractually obligated to offer the superannuated crooner the role in Die Hard—[Sinatra was 73 at the time] unsurprisingly Frank passed on the kind offer and the role was dangled before Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also turned it down, as did every other action star of the day, from Sly Stallone to er-herm Don Johnson. Bet Donnie is kicking himself now—eh, Crimeziners?
Roderick Thorp thought up the idea for Nothing Lasts Forever after seeing the hit movie Towering Inferno—after watching the movie he had nightmares of being chased through a burning building by men with guns and thus a masterpiece of crime fiction was conceived.
The book relates the story of former Detective Leland, who is visiting his daughter at Klaxon Oil’s Christmas gathering, when a ruthless band of Kraut terrorists move in with their Stalag 13 accents and a list of demands, which include exposing Klaxon’s corrupt dealings with a nasty government in Chile. They also think it will be a cool idea to dump $6,000,000 in cash out of the towers windows. Vive la Revolution.
Course it turns out that Leland has history with gang leader Gruber that dates back to WWII, so we just know things are going to end badly. Add to this a rich, pulpish undertow of alcoholism, guilt and the twisted psychology of the human mind and you have a Christmas read that will have Granny pounding the sweet Sherry until well into the New Year.
As for the movie, you have seen it a bazillion times already, but once more never hurts. Filmed for the most part at 20th Century Fox’s HQ in Century City, Los Angeles, the building was still under construction during filming, hence the building equipment scenes. The city backdrop was provided by a 380 foot background painting, complete with fully functioning lights, a prop that tight-wads FOX have used on many movies since. The helicopter scene took six months of preparation, but the production was given only two hours above Fox Plaza in which to film it. It took three attempts to get the shots and nine camera crews. And if you were wondering why Alan Rickman looks so surprised when he takes a plunge off the building, it is because naughty John McTiernan tossed the hapless thesp’ off the building without warning. Apparently the RADA trained limey was “boiling with anger” Bet the Royal Shakespeare Company never treated him with such a cavalier attitude. Still Rickman can no doubt take solace in the fact that McTiernan changed the films original three-night time line to one, after watching Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Merry Christmas Crimeziners Hope Santa visits you with his bulging sack.